THE BIG NEWS: Adobe announced the latest version of its Adobe Flash Player 9. It is codenamed Moviestar, because it includes H.264 standard video support – the same standard deployed in Blu-Ray and HD-DVD high definition video players. Also added to the mix is High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio support and "hardware accelerated, multi-core enhanced full screen video playback." Adobe claims that these advancements will extend its leadership position in web video "by enabling the delivery of HD television quality and premium audio content."
WHAT THIS MEANS: The quality of video has now been substantially improved from the previous version of Flash Player 9. This will enhance the consumer experience, but will also give online video companies a platform to deliver richer Flash experiences on the desktop, Web, and H.264 ready consumer devices. Since Adobe Flash Player is said to have 98.7% penetration in the Web, making it the most popular media player (used by many video distributors including YouTube, Kyte.tv, Podtech, and Blip), the H.264-enabled Flash version will have a big impact on video on the Web. Adopting H.264 means both better quality and smaller download files (=less expansive bandwidth bills), so YouTube and every other major video player on the market will be after MPEG4 soon. With this move, Adobe may have created a winning ecosystem around Flash and established Flash as the de-facto standard to deliver video over the web. This is also good news for enterprise video-broadcasting start-ups such as Veodia that have bet on H.264.
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